Fiona McLoughlin Healy welcomes developments in Ireland’s anti-smoking policy

Fine Gael Councillor Fiona McLoughlin HEALY has welcomed the publication of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014 which will introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.

“Ireland is the first EU country to introduce plain packaging for tobacco, and is really leading the way.  Ireland is only the third country in the world to introduce this legislation, which aims to curb the marketing power of cigarette companies,” Councillor McLoughlin Healy stated.

“This means that all forms of branding including trademarks, logo, colours and graphics will no longer be featured on cigarette packs.  The global tobacco industry has endeavoured to lobby the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, which proves there are real concerns that the measure will work and that cigarettes will no longer appear as attractive to would-be smokers.

“It is hoped that targeting the marketing abilities of these companies will limit the reach of these products, particularly to young people who are considering taking up smoking.  This legislation forms part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to combat smoking in Ireland. Reducing the numbers of smokers in this country will have hugely positive impacts on the long term health of the nation. It will also reduce the future public health bill significantly.

“I commend the Government’s resolve on this issue and hope that Ireland will open the door for other European countries to follow suit on introducing similar legislation,” Councillor Fiona Mc Loughlin Healy concluded.